Windows 7 Location Based Printing – A Mobile Worker’s Dream Come True

September 1st, 2011

Printing for wireless users is often confusing

I have a laptop.  I bring the laptop to work.  It sits on our wireless network.  My default printer is a nice shiny new Canon multifunction printer/copier/scanner/fax printer.   I go home.  The printer I use is an HP LaserJet 4000.   I routinely go to other locations which have other printers to use.   My problem has always been that I was allowed to set only one default printer that was for me regardless of where I was located.   This often caused to me click “Print” at home and never actually print because the job was stuck trying to print to the now unavailable default work printer.  That of course generated an annoying error.  I then had to delete the wrong print job and find what I wanted to print and manually select a different printer – until now.

Windows 7 now has something called location based printing.  It allows me to define a default printer for each wireless network I use.  My Windows 7 laptop now knows that when it is on the office network the “default” printer setting is the Canon printer.  It now knows that when I am home, the “default” printer setting is now my HP LaserJet printer.   Life is good.   Here’s how to make this happen for you:


From your Windows 7 laptop click on Start, Devices.  Then click on a printer.  Then click on Manage Default Printers.


Click on Change my default printer when I change networks.


On the left side select the wireless network you would like to set a default printer for.  This list contains all the wireless networks your laptop knows about.


Now on the right side select the printer that you would like to be the default printer for this wireless network.   Note: You need to have the printer driver installed and configured on your laptop before you can select the printer as a default printer for a new wireless location.

Once you have a wireless network selected on the left and a printer selected on the right click “Add” to the right of the Select Printer box and then click OK.  Repeat for as many locations as you would like.

Congratulations you now should be able to have your computer default automatically to the printer of your choice in each of the wireless locations you have configured.

If you have any questions, or require assistance, please  contact us.



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